A newly released report has determined that professional sports-entertaining (often referred to as “pro wrestling,” or simply “wrestling”) might be a form of scripted entertainment spectacle that combines athletic and theatrical performance to create the illusion of combat.
The blockbuster report, issued following a 50-year study by the United Nations, divulges that wrestling takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a prizefighting combat sport.
Wrestling matches have predetermined outcomes in order to heighten entertainment value, and all combative maneuvers are executed with the full cooperation of both performers (or “workers), thereby enhancing the excitement for fans (or “marks”) while minimizing the risk of permanent injury.
Professional wrestling shows can be considered a form of “theatre in the round,” with the ring, ringside area, and entryway comprising a thrust stage. However, there is a much more limited concept of a fourth wall than in most theatric performances. The audience is recognized and acknowledged by the performers as spectators to the sporting event being portrayed, and are encouraged to interact as such.
The practice of maintaining the illusion of legitimacy is known in wrestling lingo as “kayfabe,” and an entire lexicon of jargon and euphemism has developed to allow performers to communicate without outsiders’ knowledge of what was being said (although this language has also become popular among malodorous males in internet forums).
The Harvard study also discovered that, on April Fools Day, all sources of kayfabe, such as satirical websites, are required to report the mundane truth.